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April 29, 2014

Lexi Thompson


THE MODERATOR:  It's my pleasure to welcome in today Rolex Rankings No. 6 now, Lexi Thompson, a newly minted major champion.  Lex, first, congratulations on the win.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  Your first start since the win at Kraft.
THE MODERATOR:  You had three weeks off, but not necessarily off, I think just from following you on Twitter, probably the busiest three weeks of your life from what it seemed like, media tour, trip to Germany, morning drive, all this good stuff.  Just take us through what these past three weeks have been and what you've been up to.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, they've been pretty busy.  I got my practice in and training in a lot, but yeah, did morning drive, a few media appearances, like CNBC, and I just actually game from Germany.  I had a big Puma ad campaign commercial and then Puma global announcement at Puma headquarters in Germany.  So it was a great few days, a lot going on, but these whole past few weeks have been very busy for me, but it's been a lot of fun.  So looking forward to this week.
THE MODERATOR:  Good.  Now, talk about the Puma appearance.  Had to be a huge honor, I know you said there was a lot of other Puma athletes.  I saw you tweet a picture of Usain Bolt[], the fastest man in the world.  How was meeting him and how was that whole experience?  Probably a huge honor for you.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Oh, yeah.  It was a huge honor.  Just to meet with him and hang out with him, we actually flew privately to our other location for the commercial, and it was so much fun.  He's such a cool guy, very laid back, and always joking around.  But yeah, it was a great experience, just to spend some time with a big‑time athlete like him.  And you know, just learn how he is.
THE MODERATOR:  Cool.  Coming into this week, you had a few practice rounds the past couple of days.  Any rust?  Is what have you been working on?  I know you said you got your practice in, but how are you feeling about your game coming off the three weeks?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah.  I'm feeling really good.  You know, I got my practice in back at home and training, worked on a few things.  Just trying to keep my swing groove like it was at Kraft Nabisco.  And working on the same things, but I feel really good coming into this week.  I played this tournament last year, and I think I played pretty well.  I don't really remember.  But I do like the golf course and the people here are amazing.  So I'm really looking forward to this week.
THE MODERATOR:  You've been one of the amazing story lines, you winning at Kraft, then Michelle goes, wins in Hawaii, Lydia wins her first as a member.  What is it like to be a part of the resurgence of LPGA and being a huge part of these headlines and making waves, whether it be on local headlines, but now national headlines?  What's that been like for you?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, it means a lot to me.  We're all just trying to do our best out here, and I think we've had some really great winners already this year.  Michelle is playing great this year and obviously Lydia has been playing amazing the last few years that she's been out here.  But there's such great competition out here and I think any time somebody wins it's a great honor to be in the headlines just all over the place, so it's busy, but I mean it's well worth the ride.

Q.  I know all of the players were congratulating you on Twitter.  You almost broke Twitter I think when you won.  Did you hear from anybody special or anybody surprised you that you thought, wow, they were watching me or wow, they congratulated me.  Who was the most surprising or special person you heard from?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I got a few texts, like Nancy Lopez texted me which always means a lot.  She's been a huge idol of mine.  I actually got a letter from Arnold Palmer congratulating me.  So that meant so much to me, just always looking up to him, what a huge idol he is in the game of golf and what he's done for the game.  So it means so much to me, just to have those people watching me and supporting me.
THE MODERATOR:  Great.  Questions for Lexi?

Q.  You broke through at a young age, and you're still very young right now.  Can you talk about how many young players there are, how much young talent is out there and maybe some of the things, biggest challenges you faced as a young player coming up?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I think the game is getting younger and younger.  I mean you see really young girls out here coming out, playing well.  I mean I'm not even the young one out here.  Now Lydia is.  But it's great to see that the game is getting younger.
But I think the main trouble that I saw coming out here just at a young age was expecting success right off the bat and struggling through the first few years and not playing as many events as I was used to.  But I think that's just golf overall.  It's something you have to get used to, going through the struggles and just working through it and going to the next event.

Q.  Going off that a little bit, is there any validation‑‑ you've had success, but now that you're going to be introduced as a major champion everywhere you go, is there a validation for you and does it change the tone of how you move forward in your career?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It doesn't really change the way, you know, it doesn't change who I am personally, but I mean it doesn't change my out look on how I go into an event.  I'm going into it with the same attitude this whole year as just trying to focus on attitude going into every event positively.  I think that's what helped me out the most at Kraft Nabisco going into it with a positive attitude and being confident.  I'm still just going to go out, have fun and be relaxed out there.  And I think that's when my game shows the most.
THE MODERATOR:  Now that you've got the feeling of having that one major win, I mean you couldn't hide the excitement and joy on your face.  There's no chance.  But once you got that win under your belt, do you start thinking, heck, I want five, ten, I want as many of these as possible.  Do you start looking down the road and say I want to win as many majors as I possibly can?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It definitely gave me a lot of confidence after getting that first win under the belt, especially at Kraft Nabisco.  I love mission hills and playing there.  I get to hit a lot of drivers and just be confident about my game that week.  But going into the year I think winning every major is definitely a goal, but I go into every event with that same attitude wanting to win.  You know, whatever happens happens.

Q.  Last year you finished I think 18th here last year.  Can you talk about that a little bit, coming off the first time and what the course requires you to do out here?
LEXI THOMPSON:  This golf course?

Q.  Yeah.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, this golf course seems to be playing a little different this year.  It's not as firm as it was last year, so there's a few different clubs or how you play it into the green.  But the course is in great shape for us again and this is such a well‑run tournament and being the second year for it, I think all of us look forward to playing in it every year.
But yeah, I think just getting the placement right in the fairways and picking the right clubs off the tee I think is going to be the key out here.
THE MODERATOR:  I don't think anyone would argue, I know you came on to the scene as a rising star, youngest of every whatever.  Then you won.  You were a star.  Now I think we can probably all agree you're a bona fide super star.  You have really embraced the role of being an ambassador for this tour.  I know you were named girls golf ambassador, growing the game, I know Monday you have an event with Red Bull doing the tee time, just trying to spread the wealth of the game.  Talk about that event on Monday and what it means for you to embrace that role of being one of the big faces on tour.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah.  It means a lot to me.  Being part of the girls golf program is huge.  I mean when they asked me to do it, it's like pretty much always a yes.  Just to show my love for the game to little girls that are out following and just seeing how much the game is growing, especially on the girls' side, it means a lot to me to work with them.
But yeah, Monday, it's actually called like a Red Bull tee time.  I do that probably four or five times a year at my tournaments, and it just gives me a chance to answer questions from little kids, their parents, and just about my life and what I've done to get to the point that I am.  And it's a little clinic, too, so I'll hit some balls and show them how to hit a few shots and then I'll take pictures, autographs.
THE MODERATOR:  Is it the Top Golf?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah.  It's the Top Golf.  It's a lot of fun.  People following me play music.  There's actually a photo booth.  You know, it's really cool.  I think that grows the game and shows that it's fun and it's active.
THE MODERATOR:  Bringing the youthful, I guess, aspect to golf, and I know you said you've just been trying to have more fun on the course and off the course, I know.  That's played a very big role for you; correct?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, definitely, especially these past few months, I've just been trying to have a lot more fun out on the golf course and laugh with my caddie Benji out there in between shots and just keep it loose.  I think that's the main point.  I think people sometimes, including myself.  I mean I've gotten way too serious sometimes on the golf course, and I think it just hurts you sometimes.

Q.  After winning your first major, has that sort of changed your goals for the rest of this year or perhaps your career goals on the LPGA Tour?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I haven't really thought about any different goals.  I mean I go into every tournament wanting to win.  Obviously my next goal is to win the U.S. Women's Open.  That's a huge honor.  I mean being an American that's your champion, so that's one of my top goals for this year.
But overall in the future it doesn't really change my goals.
THE MODERATOR:  Anybody else?  All right, well, thank you for coming in.  Best of luck this week.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Thank you.

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